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Gary A. Mauser

Thursday, January 1st, 2004

Gary A. Mauser, Ph.D. is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for January.
 In nominating Professor Mauser for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that “Dr. Mauser has spent a good deal of time and effort in intellectual pursuits the effect of which is to undermine, if not outright eviscerate, many of the pragmatic arguments advanced for more restrictive gun control public policies.  One of his most recent publications, The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and Wales, devastates the position that the experience of these countries demonstrates the advisability of more restrictive gun control laws in the United States.  He’s done the cause of freedom and gun rights a world of good.  He certainly is most deserving of this Award.”
 Gary Mauser is a Professor at the Faculty of Business Administration and the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.  The Fraser Institute published The Failed Experiment in the November 2003 issue of Public Policy Sources,
 Professor Mauser earned his doctorate, in social psychology, from the University of California at Irvine, California in 1970.  He had received his B.A., also in psychology, from the University of California at Berkeley, in 1964.  He has dual American and Canadian citizenship.  He and his wife, Ede Wong, have five children and live in Coquitlam, BC.
 Mauser was born in California in 1942 and moved to Canada in the mid-1970s.
 He tells Point Blank that, “When I came to Canada, I didn’t own any guns.  I got interested after I turned 40.  At that point, I decided to pick up the rifle, a K-98, my father gave me when I turned 21.”  He said he had been “a know-it-all student at the University of California, Berkeley, and I’d refused to accept it.
 “I wasn’t familiar with guns at the time, and I didn’t know what I’d do with it.  When I picked it up, I asked him to explain it to me.  As he told me how it worked, I inadvertently saw how happy he looked.  He was flattered that I’d asked him.  I suddenly realized that my high school drop-out father was proud that he knew something his educated son did not.”
 Commenting on that experience, Gary said that, “sometimes eating crow tastes good.
 “Anyway, when I got that gun back to Canada I wanted to know more about the history of that old gun.  That got me hooked on researching firearms.  Now I’m a history buff and gun collector.  Soon I went to the range to shoot it.  That got me started in target shooting, and later hunting.”
 The interest that began with curiosity about “that old gun” led Gary, who is a survey researcher, to begin “to develop surveys so that I could do studies of attitudes towards gun control.  I published my first article on guns and crime in 1990.  I’ve been busy at it ever since.  I take groups of students to the range every semester in order to introduce them to shooting.”
 Dr. Mauser has published two books, Political Marketing: An Approach to Campaign Strategy, (1983), Praeger Publishers, New York NY, and Manipulating Public Opinion: Essays on Public Opinion as a Dependent Variable, (March 1989), Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA, and more than 20 articles.  For the past 15 years, he has conducted research on the politics of gun control, the effectiveness of gun control laws, and the use of firearms in self-defense.
 In The Failed Experiment, described elsewhere in this issue of Point Blank, Gary notes that restrictive firearms legislation has failed to reduce gun violence in Australia, Canada or Great Britain.  The policy of confiscating guns has been an expensive failure, according to his paper.
 “What makes gun control so compelling for so many,” he states, “is the belief that violent crime is driven by the availability of guns and, more importantly, that criminal violence in general may be reduced by limiting access to firearms.”  He demonstrates clearly that myth, rather than reality, underlies the belief.
 Last May, Gary Mauser was an invited participant for the International Symposium on the Legal, Economic and Human Rights Implications of Civilian Firearm Ownership and Regulation.  It was sponsored by the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, held at the Tower of London Conference Centre in London, England.